Can I view a PowerPoint file on an iPad?

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 0 comments

Presenting-on-the-iPadYes. Depending on your requirements, there are a few ways to do this, and each carries pros and cons.

Option 1: Office 365 – The first and most obvious solution is to get PowerPoint on your iPad. Microsoft has now produced an app for Office 365 for current subscribers – but only on the iPhone. It’s not available on the iPad, and Microsoft has stated that they have no intention of bringing out an iPad version. You can gain access on the iPad through Web Apps via the Safari browser if you have an Office 365 subscription ($99.99 a year, across all devices). However, you can only use this to access documents stored on SkyDrive – and you have to be online to use them. This means that in order to open, edit, or view a file, you must be connected to the internet.  This could be problematic if you want to present on the go, or make a few changes to some slides when you’re on a flight without access to Wi-Fi.

Option 2: Keynote app - Importing a PowerPoint file to Keynote works for the most part, and carries the added benefit of allowing you to edit your slides on your iPad. However, the Microsoft-Apple crossover is not without its difficulties, and you should expect to have to test for glitches.

Option 3: PowerPoint converter app – There are a few of these on the market. Some are better than others, and they each have different strengths. SlideShark is best in terms of accurate reproduction of your slides, particularly if you use complex animations.

Option 4: Convert to HTML5 – While iPads do not play Flash, they can manage HTML5 without any difficulty. The best way to convert a PowerPoint file to HTML5 is to use iSpring. HTML5 videos can be viewed directly in a web browser with no need for an upload platform. An iSpring conversion will also preserve any narration and click timings, but you won’t be able to advance through the slides yourself and deliver your presentation live.

Option 5: Convert to video – If you’re using PowerPoint 2010 or later, you can save the file out as video. This automatically goes to wmv, which cannot be played natively on an iPad. However, if you upload the video to YouTube or a platform such as Kulu Valley, it will happily play on an iPad. Kulu Valley will even allow you to place ‘stops’ in the video so that you can click through your animations manually.

Option 6: Record as videoRecord a presenter delivering short presentations and provide these as video content for your audience to watch. Video can be uploaded to YouTube, or uploaded to other video platforms that will convert to an iPad-friendly format.

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